I toured school yesterday where majority of students are ELLs, either in dual language or transitional bilingual:Change the stakes parents responded:
- Most teachers said that they were lacking Common core texts, workbooks and/or teacher guides;
- Meanwhile there were many big boxes in library full of materials that were excess or the wrong stuff, but that DOE said could NOT be returned;
- NONE of the Common Core materials are written in Spanish, making it impossible to teach literacy according to the dual language or bilingual model.
Thus there were classes full of students, some of them just arrived to the country, and others with IEPs, who were struggling with materials that they had NO chance of being able to read.
Add to this that the grade level of some of these Pearson texts are already way above the grades assigned them, even for fluent English speakers (see Clara Hemphill on this), for example, Charlotte’s web in 2nd grade; and an informational text on spiders for 4th grade, full of VERY difficult vocabulary and densely packed prose that I had difficulty getting through.
This is a perfect example of how the Common Core’s standardization model and difficulty level seem totally misguided – especially for ELL students and kids with IEPs, who have also assigned these materials.
Teachers at my son's dual language school were concerned about this problem last winter, and seemingly nothing was done to address it. HST policies and now Common Core rollout have been incredibly damaging to dual language programs (which,as we know, have very strong evidence of success on many indicators of learning.)
My son's school started using a a "common-core-aligned" math series this year. I'm not sure whether or not there is a Spanish edition, but there is definitely not an English edition :-).
Pardon the sidetrack, but the definition of "core aligned" (based on my limited sample) seems to be "random quotes and references to sections of the common core standards sprinkled throughout the the text, with no discernible connection to the pages on which they appear." If what I've seen is in any way representative, common core is nakedly nothing more than an excuse to sell the same old books in a new wrapper.